Latest DVD Reviews
The Grudge (2004)
The archetypal haunted house story might be more effective as a campfire story which takes ten minutes to tell...as a 90-minute movie, it's a crushing bore.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
A full-fledged mutant jamboree, but one that blunts thematic and character development in favor of narrative expediency.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Too measured to be lively, too skittish to be provocative, too dramatically slack to be more than a ploddingly literal book-on-film.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
A next generation Eddie Haskell, Ferris Bueller redefined "cool" misbehavior for Generation X....Hughes has a knack for memorable set pieces.
The Uninvited (2009)
Unlike the rest of the Class of '09 thus far,
marches to an off-beat, and thank goodness for small favors.
X2 (X-Men 2) (2003)
Runs hot and cold, but mostly satisfies with its "upgraded" science-fiction razzle-dazzle.
The Last Kiss (2006)
The Last Kiss
isn't afraid of exploding romantic conventions--um, at least not at first.
Frank Miller's Sin City (2005)
Retrograde, sexist, and gleefully sadistic... pitiable and fearful in the language we go to the movies to learn. The old cop line 'There's nothing to see here' hardly applies.
Mean Girls (2004)
with the edges filed down a bit...the kind of smooth, clever (and rare) entertainment that critics and audiences can all enjoy, guilt-free.
Arctic Tale (2007)
isn't a documentary. They say it right there in the title, see? It's a
In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
Like his characters, Oshima is determined to explore and transgress sexual boundaries, if they even exist, by posing a challenge to conventional morality.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
More of a mess than the pleasant surprise one might have hoped.
Marley & Me (2008)
Even dog skeptics might be surprised how deftly
Marley & Me
adapts newspaper columnist John Grogan's book...into the equivalent of a kid's movie for adults.
The Wrestler (2008)
Darren Aronofsky’s character study...[has in Mickey Rourke] an actor unusually in sync with a role, indeed what seems to be the role of his career.
The Wages of Fear (1953)
A classic suspense film...also the screen equivalent of a classic existentialist drama...The chemical reaction Clouzot gets from these genres is pure dynamite.
Primo kids' stuff, but under-satisfying for adults.
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Though in story
The World Is Not Enough
is not one of the best Bonds, pound for pound it delivers as much thrilling action as any of them.
Never Say Never Again (1983)
Connery proved plenty fit for one more outing...a likeable but somewhat mediocre adventure handsomely mounted in the traditional Bond style...
8 Mile (2002)
You can't stop him or crop him/He's in widescreen and large/
He ain't playing when he's baggin' Curtis Hanson for Sarge...
Given the shortage of dancing and soaring vocal melodies...Minnelli must lean heavily on personality and a spectacle defined by the pageantry of historic locations, sets and costumes.
Good to the last drop: the guilt-drenched final line is a prism revealing new facets of character and theme to ponder on the way out of the theater.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The most fascinating element of the film is its formal linking of its multiple, no-nonsense protagonists.
The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Guilty-pleasure action sequences...amped-up visuals and hearty, young stars...the problem is that the stilted dialogue and style-over-substance form seem instantly dated.
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
With its ballsy, bar-raising disregard of sense, this solid sequel mildly improves upon the original...summer movie camp 2 gleefully preposterous 2 be dismissed.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
On par with the rest of the series....it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and then it's
off the hook
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Vainly attempts to elevate Riddick into a mythological hero in a political-intrigue contest meant to be
in an action context, though it's a lot more like
in a crap context.
An American in Paris (1951)
A triumph for tireless dance advocate Kelly, the Freed Unit, and the American musical itself.
Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut (2004)
A masterpiece of mood...
is made less obscure—for better or worse—in Kelly's expanded director's cut.
A Mighty Heart (2007)
A docudramatic TV movie at heart, and there's something unseemly about the film's inherently predictable build to Pearl's climactic grief.
South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season (2008)
This batch of fourteen episodes doesn't mess with a proven, winning formula: a balance of parody, satire, and
-esque observation about being a kid.
The Kite Runner (2007)
It's the workmanlike Forster who evinces a lack of feel for the material, shooting the kite competitions like WWI dogfights and applying an overbearing score by Alberto Iglesias.
The Last Metro (1980)
A loving account of the literal and figurative romance of the stage, even under the most trying of social circumstances.
The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups) (1959)
An enduring masterpiece...Truffaut's autobiographical fiction shows an admirable equanimity by depicting the highs and lows of boyhood.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
The 22nd Bond film too often seems like an old friend on the wrong anti-depressant: still the person you love, but the rhythm's off and the precious moments fewer and further between.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Alfred posits, "For what is Batman if not an effort to master the chaos that sweeps our world? An attempt to control death itself." Okay, fine, but we get this and dick jokes?
Batman Forever (1995)
The fatuousness of that title sums up Schumacher's approach. The director allows his few scrupulous choices to be overwhelmed by garish vaudeville.
Batman Returns (1992)
Burton['s] staging is expert, and his character conceptions are distinctive and gratifying.
Despite its failings...a hugely influential movie with literally towering design, mordant wit, and a hall-of-fame performance by Jack Nicholson.
Primal Fear (1996)
An unfolding mystery in which truth is elusive, and twists are the order of the day...gives Norton a career-making opportunity to strut his stuff.
Vanishing Point (1971)
Merged the appeal of
with that of, say,
...fast cars and dusty existentialism.
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